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Vancity mortgage allows Habitat for Humanity Victoria to purchase support facility

Habitat for Humanity Victoria

About this story

Habitat for Humanity Victoria uses donated materials to build simple homes for sale to low-income earners. Since 1999, the organization has built 18 homes including single-family homes, duplexes and a five-plex. The mission of this and other worldwide Habitat charities is to break the cycle of poverty by providing low-income families access to home ownership.

To cover its administration costs, the organization relies on profits from its ReStore facility. Most successful Habitat for Humanity affiliates own their ReStore buildings, but for years the Victoria organization had used a rented space, cutting into profits.

When it looked as though the landlord would be raising the rent, the board of directors began to look at other options.

“We don’t receive any funding from government for our operations,” says Yolanda Meijer, Habitat for Humanity’s executive director. “We saw an opportunity with the ReStore to create a social enterprise that dovetails well with our work of building homes, addresses issues of sustainability by diverting tonnes of material from landfill, and provides a reliable source of self-generated operational funding.”

Recognizing the benefit to both Habitat for Humanity Victoria and the community it helps lift out of poverty, Vancity financed a high-ratio mortgage for the organization to purchase its own 14,000-square-foot ReStore facility. Vancity also provided an operating loan to bridge the receipt of donations for Habitat’s ongoing housing projects.


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